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Julius Baer: comentarios mercados

Lunes, 16 de Febrero de 2015 Redacción



Will it be another week of back and forth in the Greek saga? And will the truce in the Ukraine hold? There is not much that is tangible on the agenda anyway: the macro news-flow will be lighter with the ZEW survey in Germany and the global flash-PMIs (purchasing manager indices) being in focus. As for the earnings season, the count goes down to 49 companies reporting in the S&P 500 and 59 European companies in the Stoxx 600.


There seems to be more of the same ahead when it comes to the everlasting Greece and Ukraine hotspots. In contrast, the macro and corporate news flow is tuning down.

Christian Gattiker, Chief Strategist and Head Research, Julius Baer


INVESTMENT STRATEGY - Overweight US smaller caps

A few weeks ago we have upgraded the European small and mid caps to overweight but left the US part on neutral as there was not the same outperformance visible at the time. Meanwhile, the situation has changed and we turn bullish on US smaller caps as well. Having a constructive macro outlook and equity markets being in a six year old bull market already provides an attractive environment for small caps. This is also confirmed by the US NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) small business optimism diffusion index, which is steadily rising for years. As in other regions, valuation looks expensive when just taking the P/E ratio into consideration but in fact is fair when adjusting for the long-term earnings growth and then conducting the PEG ratio (price/earings-to-growth ratio). Taking a closer look at the sector compositions in Europe and the US reveal why European smaller caps started their outperformance earlier than the US. The reason lies in the sector composition of the various size categories. The smaller the category the higher the exposure to cyclically exposed sectors. While US mega caps have one third in defensive stocks it is only one fifth for smaller caps. In Europe both, the exposure per se as well as the differentials between the different categories is more pronounced, which resulted in an earlier reaction. As outlined in various publications, we think that a cyclical exposure should be fruitful going forward, which can provide further tailwinds for smaller caps going forward.


Following Europe, we upgrade the rating for US small and mid-caps to overweight. Drivers include a constructive macro picture, a mature bull market and a cyclical sector exposure.


Christoph Riniker, Head Equity Strategy Research, Julius Baer




ECONOMICS: Japan comes slowly out of its recession

Today’s fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figure from Japan showed that the economy rebounded after the dip following April’s tax increase, albeit at a slower-than expected pace. Q4 2014 GDP grew by 0.6% compared to the previous quarter, against consensus expectations of a 0.9% gain. This was largely due to a slower-than expected private consumption, which turned out to be lower than timelier consumption indicators suggested earlier. On the other hand, exports increased by 2.7% q/q and are becoming an important support for the economy.

The Japanese economy started to recover slowly in Q4 2014 and leading indicators signal that this recovery will continue in 2015. We expect the Japanese economy to expand by a moderate 1% this year.

Susan Joho, Economist, Julius Baer



COMMODITIES: Oil inventories withstand tumbling rig count

Crude oil prices firmed last Friday as rig count data in the United States continued to show cutbacks in utilisation. The news lent support to Brent crude oil prices, which pushed above USD60 per barrel for the first time this year and increased the premium over West Texas Intermediate oil to nearly USD 8 per barrel, the widest spread since August last year. The momentum in falling exploration and capital expenditure appears set to continue with a leading shale oil producer announcing it would reduce its rig count to just 27 by the end of this month from 91 in the third quarter last year. Despite the rig cutbacks, crude oil production and inventories continue to surge in the United States, again setting new record highs last week. Nonetheless, we maintain our bullish near-term outlook for oil prices and believe the market underestimates the fundamental tightening process already underway. The projected slowdown in US shale oil production and demand strength should lead to the clearing of excess supplies.

As the slowdown in drilling activity builds momentum, firm oil demand should continue to support prices. Producers and pipeline operators remain more attractive alternatives to any direct oil exposure due to the steeply upward sloping futures curve.


Warren Kreyzig, Commodities Research Analyst, Julius Baer